The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada’s primary intelligence service, has published a report on foreign interference threats to Canada’s democratic process, outlining the targets and techniques foreign states use to conduct foreign interference. According to the CSIS report:
July 2021 Activities within or relating to Canada that are detrimental to the interests of Canada and are clandestine or deceptive, or involve a threat to any person, constitute foreign interference. Examples of foreign interference include attempts to covertly influence, intimidate, manipulate, interfere, corrupt or discredit individuals, organizations and governments to further the interests of a foreign state. […] Foreign states and their proxies use a range of common techniques to further their objectives. This includes human intelligence operations, leveraging state-sponsored or community media, sophisticated cyber tools, and social media. While these techniques are varied and can be difficult to detect, there are indicators that can help increase individual awareness of these threats to avoid becoming a target.
Read the full report here.
According to the report, the main targets of foreign interference in Canada are the Canadian public and voters, elected officials, donors, interest groups and community organizations, and media. Techniques used by foreign actors include elicitation, cultivation, coercion, illicit financing, cyber attacks, disinformation, and espionage. However, the report curiously fails to name any specific foreign actors conducting foreign interference operations in Canada.
Past GIOR coverage of Canada has included:
- In June, we recommended a report examining China’s foreign influence operations in Canada.
- In November, we reported on Canada’s National Cyber Threat Assessment, which concluded that the threat to Canadians posed by foreign influence operations represents “collateral damage.”